Maps 4 Brings Major Sports Venue Improvements to OKC

17 Dec, 2019

For the fourth time in its history, Oklahoma City residents have voted to tax themselves to fund significant capital improvements, including addressing the needs of the city’s most-vulnerable residents.

The first quality of life enhancement program passed in 1993, with the goal to create a city where people would want to live. The second MAPS went to voters in 2001 and helped improve school facilities across the city. The third MAPS was approved in 2009 and funded a new streetcar in downtown, a 70-acre park, four senior wellness centers around the city and the Riversport Rapids, an urban whitewater course that provides recreation and  is an Olympic-training facility.

The fourth version of the Metropolitan Area Projects sales-tax, approved Tuesday, will fund 16 projects that will address a variety of neighborhood and human needs, as well as job-creating initiatives and quality of life projects.

The goal continues to be making Oklahoma City a great place to live, with additions such as bike lanes, trails, a multipurpose outdoor stadium, a new fairgrounds arena and more. But much of this MAPS initiative will also fund amenities that are needed by some residents such as affordable housing, a family justice center, public transit, and two mental health crisis centers. The mix of projects continues the MAPS tradition of being groundbreaking in both subject and scope and will continue to be a national model for municipal success in spurring investment and economic development.

The projects are not built until the money is raised, so every development is constructed debt-free.

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President and CEO Roy Williams said the chamber was pleased to see that residents understood the necessity of these projects and voted to help their neighbors.

“While all the MAPS initiatives have improved our city, MAPS 4 will propel our city to the next level and continue the momentum that has helped us become a destination for top-quality employers and visitors as well,” said Williams. “As the city continues to reinvent itself, we need to be able to take care of our neighbors, and this MAPS will address those concerns.”

The project list was created by Oklahoma City residents after Mayor David Holt invited residents to “dream big.” The requests from entities were heard this summer at four city council meetings.

The final list was announced in August and residents said loudly with 71% approval that they wanted all these projects to come to fruition.

As the City voters said yes to this new program, the implementation of  MAPS 3 continues. The downtown park opened in September with a free Kings of Leon concert. The convention center will open in late 2020 and two more senior wellness centers are in development as well.

Since its inception, the combination of city investment through MAPS along with other public and private sector investment in the downtown study area reached an estimated $7 billion in the full MAPS era. During that time, the city has seen a 20.8 percent uptick in its downtown population. Overall, the city’s population growth is twice the average for the county and three-times the average for the state.

In addition, more than 9,000 jobs were added and visitation/participation in the downtown area has increased from nearly 6.5 million in 2003 to more than 11 million in 2017.

The city has caught the attention of several publications, including “Travel + Leisure,” who just put OKC on its list of places to visit in 2020, joining several international destinations. As a result of the quality-of-life improvements supported by MAPS, the city has been ranked nationally as a top place to live for outdoor space, as well as a great place for millennials, young entrepreneurs and retired veterans, among other accolades.

About the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau - The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a division of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. The CVB is the tourism information source for visitors to and the citizens of Oklahoma City. As the City’s official destination marketing organization, the mission of the CVB is to contribute to the economic well-being of Oklahoma City and its citizens through the solicitation and servicing of conventions and other related group business, to promote the city as a first-class visitor destination and to enhance Oklahoma City's name and image

About MAPS 4 - MAPS 4 is a debt-free public improvement program funded by a temporary penny sales tax that will raise a projected $978 million over eight years.

MAPS 4 will keep Oklahoma City’s sales tax rate unchanged. The sales tax will take effect April 1 when the Better Streets, Safer City temporary sales tax expires.

More than 70 percent of MAPS 4 funding is dedicated to neighborhood and human needs. The rest is for quality of life and job-creating initiatives.


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